Who Are the Archie Heroes? Part I

Who Are the Archie Heroes? Part I

As you probably know by now, the announcement was made at SDCC that the “Archie heroes” would be making their return in the pages of DC’s The Brave and The Bold . We decided to take a look back and give a little bit of a primer on who the mainstays were. Bear in mind these two facts: number one, the complete line-up of who may appear is yet unknown, so we’re focusing on the bigs, and number two, these characters will be appearing in the DCU for the “first” time. And even though it wasn’t a proper DCU line, you are not required to remember the brief Impact! Iteration of the early ‘90s.

That said, we lead off with . . .

The Shield

Name: Joe Higgins

First Appearance: Pep Comics #1 (1940, over a year before the first Captain America)

Powers: Strength and nigh-invulnerability

The Deal: Joe Higgins was the first of several characters to become The Shield in Archie continuity. The son of a chemist, Joe picked up his father’s research into super-strength after the elder Higgins was killed by the villain The Eraser. He discovered a combination that gave him strength and a degree of invulnerability when activated by a special light. The patriotic character would later work for the FBI and acquire a kid sidekick.

This Shield would later fall in battle, though his own son Bill would assume his heroic role. (If you research this character yourself, make sure you set your fields for The Shield III; there was a middle version of the character as well. Strangely, both characters wound up being members of The Mighty Crusaders. More on them later.)

The Comet

Name: John Dickering

First Appearance: Pep Comics #1 (1940)

Powers: Flight, optic blasts

The Deal: The Comet prefigures Cyclops in a number of ways. He has powerful energy blasts that issue from his eyes (dissolvo-vision!) and has to wear a special visor (of silicone!) to keep them in check. The funny thing about his vision powers is that he must “cross his eyes” for the disintegration to work. He can also fly.

The Comet received his powers from scientific discovery, but his adventures take on a cosmic component when he begins interacting with beings from another planet, Altrox. Strangely, The Comet dies at the hands of gangsters upon his return from Earth. The character is eventually revived and returns to Earth later. He is also a member of The Mighty Crusaders.

The Web

Name: John Raymond

First Appearance: Zip Comics #42

Powers: Keen detective skills and fighting prowess

The Deal: John was motivated into studying, and later fighting, crime by his delinquent brother. A professor of criminology by trade, The Web has no real powers outside of his sharp mind and his physical conditioning. One interesting wrinkle in the story of The Web is that his wife, Rose, is aware of and unhappy with his heroic identity. She has forced him into retirement and fought with him about his calling over the subsequent years.

That’s a brief look at three Archie mainstays. Next time we’ll peek at Jaguar, The Fly, The Black Hood, and The Mighty Crusaders.

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